Monday, August 8, 2011

Spatchcock Chicken

I wanted some chicken for the week last week so I decided to spatchcock a chicken.  I picked up a chicken from BHFM and brought it home. I got a little distracted with the MBH in town so I froze the chicken for about a week and recently pulled it out to defrost for about a day and a half. 

I cut the chicken down the back on either side of the backbone cutting through the thin ribs.  I removed the backbone and flipped the chicken over pressing on the breasts to flatten.  I seasoned heavily with DP ragin' river rub.  The chicken was still partially frozen even though I defrosted it for more than a day.  I found three frozen, skinless chicken breasts that I defrosted and seasoned one with DP ragin' river and the other 2 with cavendars.

Adding a good amount of rub helps not only the taste but the crispness of the skin

I set up the egg for direct cooking at 400º and added the raised grate.  I placed the chicken on the raised grate with the breasts and set up the Maverick 732 remote thermometer in the breast of the spatchcock chicken to monitor the temperatures.  I also got a new toy that I used to monitor the chicken breasts.  The Thermapen is an instant read thermometer that digitally measures internal temperatures in about 3 seconds.  It is pretty amazing.

Everybody gettin cozy on the raised grate.

The new thermopen.  It was a cool 90º while cooking at 7:30pm.
(Notice that the Maverick 732 is wearing its rain gear)
I got a bit distracted and cooked the spare skinless breasts too long.  I was monitoring the spatchcock remotely while I was working on my outdoor tv table I am building (yes you read that right) but I left the skinless breasts unattended and cooked them to an internal of 180ºish which is a bit past the 160º I was aiming for.  They were a bit overdone but fine for copping and adding to salad.  The spatchcock was spot on.  Crispy skin and moist meat.  I pulled it when the breast meat hit 160º and the thigh was at 180º. Very delicious.

The best way to eat chicken imo.

Slightly overdone but still tasty.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Egged Lettuce and Scallops

One of the best things about getting married is barrage of wedding gifts.  I always thought that I could care less about what kind of plates we had or silverware we used but I soon learned that this was far more involved than just picking out a china pattern.  When MBH handed me the scanning gun at the department store, she was giving me far more power than she realized.  One of the areas I got a little scan happy was the cast iron section.  I have been wanting a skillet and dutch oven for quite a while and we recently received both (thanks!).  I decided to season the skillet using vegetable oil in the oven for an hour.  I wanted to christen the skillet with something new and delicious so, with some urging from MBH, I grabbed some scallops and heads of romaine from BHFM.

MBH seasoned the scallops with some salt and pepper and olive oil.  She also cut two hearts of romaine in half and added some Parmesan cheese and Greek dressing to the lettuce.  MBH also cut a cucumber in half and sliced an onion for me (she's the best!).

To be honest, I could eat it just like this and would never think about grilling lettuce.  I had recently read about grilling romaine and people raved about it so I wanted to see what it was all about.

I set the grill up for direct cooking at 400º and placed the skillet on the grate with some olive oil and threw in the onions and garlic. When the onions were near done I threw in the scallops.  I let them cook for 8 minutes on each side before taking them off.  I left the cucumber on for the same amount of time and flipped them half way through.  After the scallops were done I put the lettuce on the grate and cooked it for 3 minutes on each side.

This was a late dinner so it was dark out when I started cooking.

Luckily I have a sweet grill light that allows me to see what I am doing.

Sweaty cucumber.

Lettuce on, let the experiment begin.

The lettuce and cucumber were cut up and used as the base for a salad MBH prepped adding some alvacado and feta.  The scallops and onions were added to the top of the salad.  MBH toasted some pitas and prepped some tzatziki style sauce for the pitas on the side.  The salad was awesome and the scallops were great! The lettuce had a great smoke flavor and did not wilt as I was expecting.  MBH and I agreed it is worth trying again.

First round of food done.

Pulled the lettuce next, it had great grill marks.

The scallops were very juicy and tender.  They had a slight smoke flavor that went really well with the grilled lettuce.

Plated. Very good and healthy dinner.

Bonus Salsa Cooks:
I recently cooked salsa twice using two different methods.  My salsa has been quite spicy my last few attempts but I have been trying to keep the flavor with less spice.  The first time I used the typical veggies I have used in the past only this time de-seeding one of the jalapenos.  This was still fairly spicy so on the second attempt I replaced one of the sorranos with a pablano and soaked the de-seeded jalapenos and serranos in ice water to eliminate the heat.  (After some research I discovered that serranos are actually higher on the scoville scale than jalapenos.  I think the sorranos were the main culprit in my fire in the hole salsa.) The second batch was much less spicy (almost no heat) than the first although both tasted great.  I ate at least half of the second batch so I would say it was the winner.  I will continue to perfect this.

First batch.

Plated (or bowled I guess).

The second batch.  I didn't catch a finished pic but you can see the poblano in the center which made the
salsa slightly greener in color than past attempts.